Training to NYC


The indoor platform waiting room

Between costuming I am running (actually taking the train) into New York City to go to the theater. I saw “How to Succeed in Business without Trying”, and it was excellent. Daniel Radcliffe carried the show with great skill, and John Larroquette has the skills of a mime in his face and hand movements. I must say that the choreography is amazing, fresh and really makes me want to see it again because there are so many physical nuances happening at once. The scene in the mailroom, and the football scene are simply amazing. Rob Ashford kept the material as is, and tweeked it with sharp crisp direction. Daniel not only sings, but boy can he move as well, and although he doesn’t consider himself a dancer, he holds his own with the chorus. The show is a complete vindication (IMHO) to Ashford’s tepid “Promises Promises”.

Last night I saw Mandy Patinkin in “Compulsion” a completely riveting play about Meyer Levin’s (called Sid in the play) obsession with Anne Frank, her diary, her life and his fight to represent her on the world stage. He is raw after the end of WWII and feels Anne’s diary gives voice to the holocaust in a way that will make the world understand. He is a fierce fighter, and emotionally connected to the work. Who better than Mandy Patinkin to bring this work to life? Also, Anne Frank is represented by a marionette (Meyer Levin ran a puppet theater at one point in his life so this is not a stretch). Eric Wright and Emily DiCola from the Puppet Kitchen are on the bridge working Anne Frank. (remember I took a puppet workshop with Eric at the Puppet Kitchen?). The use of the puppet is a nice touch and counter balance to Mandy’s emotional rantings and posturing. The puppet represents Anne’s intent and voice, and in the end helps to “silent” Sid.
On Thursday of this week, I will be bringing a former student of mine to see “Driving Miss Daisy”. My friend is an actor/puppet major, and I want him to see James Earl Jones, Vanessa Redgrave and Boyd Gaines. These actors take a dated piece and give it meaning. When I saw it I thought there wasn’t a word, movement or detail missing. Revisiting this piece will be like rereading a novel, I will know what is coming, but be riveted none the less.
Next up? “Catch me if you can”, on Monday with Norbet Leo Butz. I have seen everything Norbet has been in, and he never disappoints, even though sometimes the play does (think “Thou Shalt Not”). Norbet lives in New Jersey not far from where I live. Last time my husband was in the hospital, I met Norbet in the hospital cafe, his wife had just given birth to his daughter. I have also seen him on the train, the same train that brings me to New York City, and then takes me home.

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